Introducing the Dim Sum (Dian Xin)
Dim Sum is a style of Cantonese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food, traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum is also well known for the unique way it is served in some restaurants, whereby fully cooked and ready-to-serve dim sum dishes are carted around the restaurant for customers to choose their orders while seated at their tables. Dim sum is usually linked with the older tradition from tea tasting, which has its roots in travelers on the ancient Silk Road needing a place to rest. Thus teahouses were established along the roadside. An imperial physician in the third century wrote that combining tea with food would lead to excessive weight gain. People later discovered that tea can aid in digestion, so teahouse owners began adding various snacks. More traditional dim sum restaurants typically serve dim sum until mid-afternoon. However, in modern society it has become common place for restaurants to serve dim sum at dinner time. There are several famous dim sum restaurants in Beijing with reasonable prices like Jindingxuan and Dingtaifeng.